On Friday I kicked off my birthday by sleeping in, then enjoying a smoothie with whipped cream while watching the Today show. I had forgotten it was also Kathie Lee's birthday, so they were celebrating too. Mid-morning, my mom picked me up and we went for a bike ride on the Greenline. I wore my favorite autographed DJ Stephens shirt. We saw turtles and lots of butterflies (expect a nature photo post soon). One of the butterflies alighted on my bike tire and hung out there, which I took as a good birthday sign!
My mom dropped me off at my friend/neighbor Elizabeth's house, and she and I (and her two younger sons) rode our bikes to McAlister's for lunch. Then I relaxed at home, and had a video chat with Debra and Niecy, before going out with a few friends. (Gandalf sat nearby while I got ready.)
We ate on the patio at Slider Inn, a Cooper-Young restaurant that's been on my list for a long time. I ordered the lobster roll - it's on the original list of 100 Things To Eat In Memphis. It lived up to the hype and the lobster was very fresh. At Myla's suggestion, I also had a Washington Apple. It was sort of like an appletini. I approved!
Caroline graciously made me a strawberry cake for my birthday, AND chocolate-covered strawberries, even though it was her first week of school and she was exhausted. I'm so thankful for her! The cake was the perfect ending to an awesome day.
The fun continued on Saturday. My parents took me to an IMAX movie about sharks (I seriously consider this special-occasion fun) and then to dinner at a surprise downtown location. We walked further and further down Main until I was drawing a complete blank. Then we stopped in front of Flight and I practically started jumping up and down!
(The middle wine was my favorite)
Flight has three-course flights of appetizers, entrees, wine, and desserts. Each of us had a different entree flight (my mom and I also got the complementary wine flights). I tried something different and ordered the Feathered Flight, which offered chicken and waffles in a mushroom sauce, quail and dumplings, and duck with spinach ravioli. Everything was to die for. I haven't liked the duck I've tried in the past, but this was exquisite. I also encouraged my dad to look for some quail on his deer hunts.
Best birthday meal ever. I'm still happy today thinking about it. I'm also thankful for the knowledge that my parents really get me, and knew how happy it would make me to go downtown and eat at a really cool and Memphisy place.
Overall, 34 was my best birthday in a long time. I felt loved and known by the people close to me, and have an unfounded sense of hope about the next year. I just think this is going to be a good one. I feel a rightness about being 34 that I didn't feel about being 33. It's all very mystical!